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European critical infrastructure: Revision of Directive 2008/114/EC

03-02-2021

Council Directive 2008/114/EC is part of the EU framework for critical infrastructure protection. While embracing an all-hazards approach, its scope is limited to the sectors energy and transport. This is widely considered a shortcoming. Calls for broadening its scope and for refocussing the directive on resilience rather than just protection, and interconnectivity of critical infrastructures resulted in a new legislative proposal the Commission presented in December 2020.

Council Directive 2008/114/EC is part of the EU framework for critical infrastructure protection. While embracing an all-hazards approach, its scope is limited to the sectors energy and transport. This is widely considered a shortcoming. Calls for broadening its scope and for refocussing the directive on resilience rather than just protection, and interconnectivity of critical infrastructures resulted in a new legislative proposal the Commission presented in December 2020.

Digital Services Act

01-10-2020

E-commerce is an essential part of the economy and of consumers shopping habits. It can support EU citizens in accessing services more easily and businesses reaching customers more targeted. The E-commerce Directive has been an important column of digital services. Still, there is need for amending the current regulation. This EAVA accompanies two European Parliament's own-initiative legislative reports by JURI and IMCO asking the Commission for legislative actions to implement a digital services ...

E-commerce is an essential part of the economy and of consumers shopping habits. It can support EU citizens in accessing services more easily and businesses reaching customers more targeted. The E-commerce Directive has been an important column of digital services. Still, there is need for amending the current regulation. This EAVA accompanies two European Parliament's own-initiative legislative reports by JURI and IMCO asking the Commission for legislative actions to implement a digital services act. The analysis identifies 22 main gaps and risks, which we clustered into four policy packages on consumer protection, content management and curation, facilitation of competition in online platforms ecosystems, and enhancement of enforcement and legal coherence. The analysis suggests that EU common action on consumer protection and e-commerce rules, as well as on a framework for content management and curation could add up €76 billion to the EU GDP between 2020-2030.

Artificial Intelligence and Law Enforcement - Impact on Fundamental Rights

15-07-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the impact on fundamental rights of Artificial Intelligence in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice, from a European Union perspective. It presents the applicable legal framework (notably in relation to data protection), and analyses major trends and key policy discussions. The study also considers developments following ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the impact on fundamental rights of Artificial Intelligence in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice, from a European Union perspective. It presents the applicable legal framework (notably in relation to data protection), and analyses major trends and key policy discussions. The study also considers developments following the Covid-19 outbreak. It argues that the seriousness and scale of challenges may require intervention at EU level, based on the acknowledgement of the area’s specificities.

Autore esterno

Prof. Dr. Gloria GONZÁLEZ FUSTER, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Enforcement of consumer protection legislation

11-06-2020

European consumers enjoy a high level of rights, but when the rules protecting them are broken, they need to be enforced. The main goals of enforcement are to prevent and punish infringements, and to enable consumers harmed by infringements to get wrongs put right (consumer redress). In the 2019 consumer conditions scoreboard poll, one in five consumers said that they had encountered problems when buying a product or service in the previous 12 months. However, whereas two thirds of them had complained ...

European consumers enjoy a high level of rights, but when the rules protecting them are broken, they need to be enforced. The main goals of enforcement are to prevent and punish infringements, and to enable consumers harmed by infringements to get wrongs put right (consumer redress). In the 2019 consumer conditions scoreboard poll, one in five consumers said that they had encountered problems when buying a product or service in the previous 12 months. However, whereas two thirds of them had complained – and were generally happy with the outcome, the other third decided not to do anything because they expected complaining to require too much time and effort, with an uncertain result. When it comes to faulty products, individual consumers can demand redress directly from sellers, and if this is unsuccessful, they can sue them in court. However, individual lawsuits are highly problematic, as, for instance, the costs often exceed the value of the claim. The EU therefore requires Member States to ensure that consumers have access to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, while the Commission runs an online dispute resolution platform. Consumers can also collectively seek injunctions to stop or ban infringements, and the EU institutions are also working on enabling consumer organisations to demand compensation in court. Consumer protection rules are also enforced by national public authorities, including through implementation of some EU-level enforcement rules. The Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation harmonises the powers of national competent authorities and lays down rules on their cooperation with counterparts in other Member States, while the EU has moved to harmonise maximum fines for widespread infringements of consumer protection rules.

Updating the Blocking Regulation: The EU's answer to US extraterritorial sanctions

07-06-2018

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions ...

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions to engage in a wide range of economic and commercial activities with Iran. Companies that disregard the US secondary sanctions face major fines and/or criminal charges in the US, or even exclusion from the US market. US sanctions will be reinstated after a 90- or 180-day wind-down period, to allow companies to make the necessary arrangements. Following the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, European companies have entered into important commercial and investment agreements with Iranian counterparts, worth billions of euros. Many of these companies also have important commercial ties with the US. Faced with the prospect of penalties in the US, several EU companies have already announced that they are ending their dealings with Iran, unless a way can be found to exempt or shield them from US secondary sanctions. In response, the Commission adopted a delegated act on 6 June 2018 to update the annex to the 'Blocking Regulation', which was adopted in 1996 to protect EU businesses against the effects of the extraterritorial application of legislation adopted by a third country. The Blocking Regulation forbids EU persons from complying with extraterritorial sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgment based on them. The effectiveness of the regulation as a mechanism to offset US sanctions has been questioned, however its adoption sends an important political message. Parliament now has two months to object to the delegated act, but may signal earlier that it will not do so, thus allowing the measure to come into force earlier than the end of the two-month period.

I cittadini dell'Unione e i loro diritti

01-04-2017

La cittadinanza europea, sancita dai trattati (articolo 20 del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione europea (TFUE) e articolo 9 del trattato sull'Unione europea (TUE)), rappresenta un fattore essenziale per la formazione dell'identità europea. Essa si differenzia dalla cittadinanza degli Stati membri, che integra, soprattutto per il fatto che i diritti che conferisce ai cittadini non prevedono doveri.

La cittadinanza europea, sancita dai trattati (articolo 20 del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione europea (TFUE) e articolo 9 del trattato sull'Unione europea (TUE)), rappresenta un fattore essenziale per la formazione dell'identità europea. Essa si differenzia dalla cittadinanza degli Stati membri, che integra, soprattutto per il fatto che i diritti che conferisce ai cittadini non prevedono doveri.

Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC

10-01-2017

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality ...

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality' or both. It appears that the majority of Member States have adopted the measures needed to implement the provisions of the directive, but the practical implementation of some aspects remains problematic. The quality of available data does not allow for the complete picture of practical implementation of the directive to be fully outlined and assessed. While EU legislation on the management of extractive waste is still relevant to real needs, the levels of effectiveness and efficiency across the EU may vary from one Member State to another. This European Implementation Assessment, which is intended to support the Implementation Report being prepared by European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, makes recommendations for action aimed at improving the identified shortcomings. The study also sheds light on the prospects for extractive waste management in the context of the 'circular economy' concept.

Norme aggiornate per Europol

02-05-2016

A maggio, il Parlamento europeo dovrebbe votare sul testo di compromesso per una revisione del regolamento che istituisce l’Agenzia dell’Unione europea per la cooperazione delle autorità di contrasto – Europol, che punta a rafforzare le competenze dell’Agenzia nella lotta al terrorismo e la criminalità grave e organizzata, aumentando nel contempo la sua responsabilità nei confronti del Parlamento europeo e dei parlamenti nazionali e formulando regole chiare in materia di protezione e scambio dei ...

A maggio, il Parlamento europeo dovrebbe votare sul testo di compromesso per una revisione del regolamento che istituisce l’Agenzia dell’Unione europea per la cooperazione delle autorità di contrasto – Europol, che punta a rafforzare le competenze dell’Agenzia nella lotta al terrorismo e la criminalità grave e organizzata, aumentando nel contempo la sua responsabilità nei confronti del Parlamento europeo e dei parlamenti nazionali e formulando regole chiare in materia di protezione e scambio dei dati.

US Supreme Court puts Clean Power Plan on hold

26-02-2016

In August 2015, the Obama administration promulgated a landmark regulation known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants. Soon after the publication of the CPP in the Federal Register, state and industry petitioners contended that the administration had exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA), violated the historic and legal authority of the states, and imposed unmanageable restructuring of the power sector. In February ...

In August 2015, the Obama administration promulgated a landmark regulation known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants. Soon after the publication of the CPP in the Federal Register, state and industry petitioners contended that the administration had exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA), violated the historic and legal authority of the states, and imposed unmanageable restructuring of the power sector. In February 2016, the US Supreme Court – the highest US court with unique authority over constitutional and federal affairs – temporarily suspended President Barack Obama's landmark carbon-emissions regulation for existing stationary sources.

A Comparison Between US and EU Data Protection Legislation for Law Enforcement Purposes

08-10-2015

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The study compares US and the EU legal frameworks on data protection in the field of law enforcement. It reviews US and EU principal legal sources of data protection legislation in the law enforcement and national security context and identifies rights available to individuals. The study further considers newly introduced or proposed US laws ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The study compares US and the EU legal frameworks on data protection in the field of law enforcement. It reviews US and EU principal legal sources of data protection legislation in the law enforcement and national security context and identifies rights available to individuals. The study further considers newly introduced or proposed US laws such as the USA FREEDOM Act and the Draft Judicial Redress Act and reviews its compatibility with EU data protection standards.

Autore esterno

Franziska Boehm (University of Münster, Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law, Germany)

Prossimi eventi

25-10-2021
European Gender Equality Week - October 25-28, 2021
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25-10-2021
Capacity for proper expenditure controls of the increased budget of the MFF and NGEU
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25-10-2021
Ninth meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol, 25-26 October
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